Indonesia’s Human Development Index Rises but Inequality Remains 

Mar 22, 2017

JAKARTA - Exclusion of women, ethnic minorities, and people living in remote areas create chronic barriers hindering human development progress. This has led to significant disparities leaving many behind in the world, including within Indonesia and the Asia and the Pacific region. In addition, marginalized groups often have limited opportunities to influence the institutions and policies that determine their lives.

These are among the key findings of the Human Development Report 2016 entitled ‘Human Development for Everyone’, released today by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Report advocates for a greater focus on excluded groups, and actions to dismantle barriers to inclusion is urgently needed to ensure sustainable human development for all. 

“We place too much attention on national averages, which often mask enormous variations in people’s lives,” stated the report author Selim Jahan. “To advance we need to examine more closely not just what has been achieved, but who has been excluded and why?”  

In its analysis, the report shows that progress has not benefited everyone and disparities disproportionally impact certain groups. In particular, women, ethnic minorities and people living in remote areas can suffer both overt and hidden deprivations. In Indonesia, despite a steep drop in poverty in the last two decades, 140 million citizens still live on less than Rp. 20,000 per day. 

Indonesia’s Human Development Index (HDI) for 2015 is 0,689. This places the country in the medium human development category, and ranked 113 out of 188 countries and territories. The HDI value is a 30.5 percent increase from the value in 1990. It reflects the progress Indonesia has made in life expectancy at birth, mean years of schooling, expected years of schooling and GNI per capita during the period. 

Strikingly however, Indonesia’s HDI falls to 0.563, a loss of 18.2 percent when inequality is taken into account. Inequalities in education and life expectancy at birth in Indonesia are higher than the average in East Asia and the Pacific, but Indonesia fares better in income and gender inequalities compared to the average in the region. 

Gender equality is a great driver of sustainable development. In 2014, sex disaggregated data was introduced into the HDI, which allowed UNDP to calculate and compare the HDI for men and the HDI for women. The results is that sadly, in most countries of the world, men and women do not enjoy the same level of human development.  In Indonesia, the Index for men is at 0.712. For Indonesian women it only reaches 0.66.  

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At today’s launch of the Report, UNDP Country Directory Christophe Bahuet presented on the findings, with a focus on Indonesia. “The HDI Index for Indonesia shows that after so much progress achieved, the road to high human development is about inclusion and inequality reduction, in particular for remote provinces and between men and women,” he said.

“The Report offers analysis and recommendations that aim to bridge existing gaps, and achieve human development for all across Indonesia. UNDP is working towards this, together with its partners.”        

For countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind, the report calls for greater attention on empowering the most marginalized in society and recognizes the importance of giving them a greater voice in decision-making processes. Such a change is central to breaking the cycle of exclusion and deprivation. The 2016 Human Development Report also calls for a shift toward assessing progress in such areas as participation and autonomy.

“By eliminating deep, persistent, discriminatory social norms and laws, and addressing the unequal access to political participation which have hindered progress for so many, poverty can be eradicated and a peaceful, just, and sustainable development can be achieved for all,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said.

 

 

Download the 2016 Human Development Report can be downloaded

Download the Indonesia overview of the Human Development Report in English

Download the Indonesian HDR Country Profile in English 

Download the Indonesian HDR Country Profile in Bahasa Indonesia 

 

Contact:
Isabel Dunstan
Communications Officer
Isabel.dunstan@undp.org